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Legal Information: Florida

Custody

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Laws current as of October 6, 2023

What is sole parental responsibility (sole custody)?

Sole parental responsibility is when one parent makes decisions regarding the child without input from the other parent.1  This includes minor decisions that need to be made on a day-to-day basis, such as the child’s bedtime, as well as all major decisions, such as the school the child attends.

Sole parental responsibility will be given to one parent if the judge decides that shared parental responsibility would be harmful (“detrimental”) to the child. In making a decision regarding what is harmful to the child, the court will consider evidence of domestic violence or child abuse, neglect or abandonment. In those cases, the judge will make arrangements for time-sharing that will best protect the child or abused spouse from further harm, which may mean that no time-sharing is ordered.2 For additional information on visitation rights for a parent who has committed violence, see Can a parent who committed violence get custody (parental responsibility) or visitation (time-sharing)?

1 F.S.A. § 61.046(18)
2 F.S.A. § 61.13(2)(c)(2), (2)(c)(3), (2)(c)(5)